Exclusive: Brandblack Founder Says It Parted Ways With Skechers

Brandblack and Skechers have ended their partnership, according to Brandblack founder David Raysse.

In an email to FN, Raysse said that after two months of negotiations, Brandblack cut ties with Skechers, its majority venture capitalist investor and stakeholder. Raysse said the sale was finished in late June.

Raysse said he now owns the brand with his two partners, Billy Dill (who joined the brand eight months after it was established) and Geoff Nishimoto (a member of the team since 2015).

“In April, Skechers — who was the majority shareholder due to their large investment in Brandblack — decided they no longer wanted to support the brand. … As of today, I finally transferred all domain names, emails etc.,” Raysse wrote in an email to FN yesterday.

Skechers did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

In the email, Raysse said Brandblack’s fall ’18 collection would be delivered soon, albeit later than most labels, and stated it will offer “product coming that will surprise everyone.”

Brandblack is sold in retailers worldwide such as Kith, Barneys, Union Los Angeles, Le Bon Marche Paris and others.

FN featured Raysse in February as part of the Black History Month Spotlight series, a showcase of African-American movers and shakers in the shoe industry.

“My family was heavily connected to fashion — my father was one of the founders of Kenzo, and my mother was a model in Paris in the ’70s,” Raysse said in an exclusive interview. “I played high school and college basketball, and was a complete sneakerhead before the label [Brandblack] existed. I would beg the manager at Foot Locker to show me the Nike catalogue and see what was coming down the pike. Those two worlds connected with sneaker design.”

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